Top Florida Republican Joined Dems to Criticize State Surgeon General After He Was Kicked Out of Meeting

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Posted: Oct 25, 2021 1:00 PM
Top Florida Republican Joined Dems to Criticize State Surgeon General After He Was Kicked Out of Meeting

Several Florida lawmakers are calling on the state Senate to deny confirmation of Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo over a disagreement he had with a state lawmaker over wearing a mask. 

Ladapo reportedly put on a face covering during a meeting he had with Democratic Sen. Tina Polsky, who was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer in August.

According to the CDC, cancer patients are at an increased risk from Covid-19.

While she did not disclose her breast cancer diagnosis, she told Ladapo she had a serious medical condition. He declined to wear the mask, offering to go outside instead. She reportedly didn’t want to sit on metal picnic tables in the heat, however.

Ladapo was “very smug” and responded with “that’s OK” when Polsky told him she had a serious medical condition and didn’t feel comfortable speaking to him without a mask. As Ladapo was leaving, she said, he told her, “Sometimes I try to reason with unreasonable people for fun.” (Florida Politics)

Health Department spokesperson Weesam Khoury denied that Ladapo said he tries "to reason with unreasonable people for fun," adding that she and the state's top health official “are saddened to hear about Sen. Polsky’s recent diagnosis and wish her well," according to Florida Politics. 

Nevertheless, several lawmakers criticized Ladapo, with Republican Senate President Wilton Simpson calling his actions “disappointing.” 

“[I]t shouldn’t take a cancer diagnosis for people to respect each other’s level of comfort with social interactions during a pandemic,” Simpson wrote in a memo to senators over the weekend.

Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book and others called the interaction “unacceptable.”

Some Republicans pushed back on the criticism of Ladapo, however. 

Others pointed out Polsky's apparent hypocrisy on the issue.

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